Build your career one molecule at a time.
As a chemistry major, you can pursue either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. The B.S. in chemistry effectively prepares students for graduate school, a career in the chemical industry, teaching (licensure available), and a variety of professional programs in health-related fields such as dentistry, medicine, medical technology, pharmacy or veterinary science. The B.A. is a good option for students pursuing chemistry as a double major or pursuing the five year Engineering Dual Degree Program in which a student can simultaneously receive a B.A. in Chemistry from Meredith and a B.S. in Chemical or Environmental Engineering at N.C. State University. Minors in chemistry, chemical physics or geoscience are also offered.
As a chemistry major you will learn, explore, travel, research and prepare a strong foundation for your professional goals.
The benefits of earning a degree in chemistry from Meredith College are evident in the accomplishments of our alumnae. Members of our most recent graduating class are pursuing post-graduate degrees in medicine, chemistry, law, and pharmacy at the Yale School of Medicine, North Carolina State University Graduate School, Indiana University School of Law, and the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, respectively. These women prepared themselves for their post-graduate paths by capitalizing on the many opportunities associated with being in close contact with vibrant and engaged faculty in a well-equipped, small department. Each of these graduates expanded on her classroom knowledge by exploring novel research projects using advanced instrumentation with Meredith faculty and by taking on competitive internships at local companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Progress Energy, and Sensor Safety.
Meredith chemistry majors evolve into well-trained and sought-after young chemists through rigorous coursework, diverse research experiences, and engagement in organizations of professional chemists. The chemistry program is housed in an 80,000 square foot Science and Mathematics Building (SMB) built in 2002. Classrooms have up-to-date demonstration facilities and projection capabilities. Teaching and student research occur in spacious laboratories with well-maintained safety features. All faculty members have dedicated laboratory space for their ongoing research projects. Facilities include labs with sophisticated spectroscopic, chromatographic, electrochemical instrumentation such as a 300 MHz NMR spectrometer, an HPLC, a GC-MS, and a brand new CV. Student access to and mastery of all instrumentation is an integral part of the curriculum, as are collaborative projects with other programs and departments nationally and internationally. Students often participate in summer research programs at universities such as Duke or Appalachian State and many have benefited from industrial internships in the Research Triangle Park.
Finally, professional development is a key feature of the chemistry major at Meredith. Students present their research at both local and national conferences of the American Chemical Society. Participation as student members of ACS also provides net-working opportunities and a concrete understanding of the many professions available to those with chemical training.
Chemistry majors participate in a variety of undergraduate research and internship opportunities at Meredith, in Research Triangle Park, and beyond. Often, research students receive financial awards to present the results of their research projects at local and national conferences.
Examples of Recent Undergraduate Research Projects at Meredith
- Several students are exploring the relationship between various essential metal nutrients and the characteristic senile plaques that form in Alzheimer’s patients.
- Another student research team is investigating the mechanism by which bacteria acquire iron in order to develop antibiotics that inhibit the acquisition of this essential nutrient.
- A recent graduate of the Engineering Dual Degree Program designed and built a water purification device that successfully extracts toxic species from a bulk water supply.
Examples of Recent Undergraduate Research Projects Conducted Off Campus
- In partnership with the Duke Chemistry Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at Duke University in Durham, NC, a student investigated copper mediated oxidative stress and its role in inflammation and Alzheimer's disease.
- As part of the Appalachian Chemistry Research Experience in Energy and the Environment (ACREE) Program at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, another student manipulated metal coordination polymer networks (MCPN) in order an effort to create a rubber that would maintain its desirable physical properties and yet be recyclable.
Examples of Recent Internships
- GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC
- Novartis, Holly Springs, NC
- Progress Energy, Raleigh, NC
- GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC
- Sensors Safety, Inc., Raleigh, NC
Examples of Recent Student Presentations
- “Investigating the Role of 5,10,15,20-Tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridinio)Porphyrin as an Iron (II) Chelator that will Facilitate the Release of Iron from a Siderophore through Reduction by NADH,” Zeenat Razvi and Kassy Mies; 241st National Meeting of the ACS, Anaheim, CA, March, 2011.
- “Metal Coordination Polymer Networks; A Modular Approach,” Meredith Hyatt and Alexander Schwab; 125th North Carolina American Chemical Society Sectional Meeting, Raleigh, NC, September 2011.
- “Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Copper Chelators: Pro-oxidants or Anti-oxidants,” Sayyeda Zeenat Razvi and Katherine Franz; 125th North Carolina American Chemical Society Sectional Meeting, Raleigh, NC, September 2011.
- “Study of the mechanism of metal induced aggregation of the beta amyloid peptide,” Melissa Burton and Kassy Mies; 239th National Meeting of the ACS, San Francisco, CA, March 2010.
- “Investigating the Role of 5,10, 15,20-Tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridinio)Porphyrin as Iron(II) Chelator that will facilitate the release of Iron from a Siderophore through Reduction by NADH,” Zeenat Razvi and Kassy Mies; 124th North Carolina American Chemical Society Sectional Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC, September 2010.
In 2011, 100% of Meredith's chemistry graduates matriculated to graduate or professional schools. Below are graduate programs attended and professional positions held by graduates from the past five years.
- Chemistry, NC State University
- Chemistry, University of Virginia
- Education, NC State University
Master of Science Programs
- Clinical Research, Campbell University
- Nutrition, Meredith College
- Environmental Systems – Mathematical Modeling, Humboldt State University
- Yale Medical School, Yale University
- Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University
- Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina
- College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Campbell University
- College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky
- South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Medical University of South Carolina
- Indiana University School of Law- Indianapolis
- Aldagen, Inc.
- Microbiology ES Associate at KBI Biopharma
- Department of Public Instruction of North Carolina
Scholarships for chemistry majors include the following:
- GlaxoSmithKline Women in Science Scholars ProgramScholarship. This Scholarship offers a unique educational opportunity by coupling the scholarship with a mentoring program. Recipients are mentored by GlaxoSmithKline women in science-related careers who will share her experiences, successes, and focuses on helping the student set realistic expectations as they investigate their educational and career path. Students are often selected in their sophomore year.
- Elizabeth James Doetterer Scholarship. This Scholarship is presented to a Chemistry major with an outstanding academic record who will pursue graduate or professional school.
- Moore Mixon Family Science Scholarship. This Scholarship is awarded to either a rising chemistry or biology major seeking a B.S. in either field who has demonstrated leadership, creativity, and an aptitude for research.
In addition to these discipline-specific scholarship opportunities, Meredith offers a range of merit and need-based financial assistance. Last year, Meredith coordinated $42.8 million in financial assistance.
Awards for chemistry majors include the following:
- The Reg Shiflett CRC Press General Chemistry Award
- The American Institute of Chemists Foundation, Inc. Award
- Sensor Safety Award for Excellence in Research Award
- Sensor Safety Award for General Chemistry Laboratory Award
- Outstanding Organic Student Award
Meredith’s student/faculty ratio of 11:1 and average class size of 17 ensure that students get to know their professors. In turn, our faculty know students by name and, just as important, are familiar with each student’s unique strengths and interests. This relationship helps chemistry majors to identify interesting research and internship opportunities and allows faculty members to support students as they conduct in-depth undergraduate research, to write meaningful letters of recommendation, and to foster each student’s professional development.
Chemistry faculty members include:
Kassy Mies, Ph.D., Bio-Inorganic Chemist
Dr. Mies can often be found working with her students on one of her many projects which include:
- probing the mechanism of the formation of senile plaques in Alzheimer’s disease by examining the metal induced aggregation of the beta-amyloid peptide
- exploring the iron binding capacity of natural and synthetic siderophores as potential medicinal therapies in the treatment of iron-overload disease and bacterial infections
- developing a water purification system engineered to selectively extract specific metal ions from a body of water
Recent Student Presentations:
- “Investigating the Role of 5,10,15,20-Tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridinio)Porphyrin as an Iron (II) Chelator that will Facilitate the Release of Iron from a Siderophore through Reduction by NADH,” Zeenat Razvi and Kassy Mies; 241st National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Anaheim, CA, March, 2011.
- “Investigating the Role of 5,10, 15,20-Tetrakis(1-methyl-4-pyridinio)Porphyrin as Iron(II) Chelator that will facilitate the release of Iron from a Siderophore through Reduction by NADH,” Zeenat Razviand Kassy Mies; 124th North Carolina American Chemical Society Sectional Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC, September 2010.
- “Study of the Mechanism of Metal Induced Aggregation of the Beta Amyloid Peptide,” Melissa Burton and Kassy Mies; 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco, CA, March 2010.
Claire Parker Siburt, Ph.D., Bio-Analytical Chemist
Students working with Dr. Parker Siburt measure the biophysical properties of metal transport proteins essential to several important bacteria. Specifically students focus on the interactions between proteins, metals, and small molecules as they:
- identify novel functions and regulation pathways of iron transport proteins in marine bacteria affected by the changing ocean environment
- quantify the thermodynamic and kinetic properties of iron transport proteins used by bacteria that cause infectious diseases such as Whooping Cough (B. pertussis) and gonorrhea (N. gonorhoeae)
Recent Student Presentations:
- “Iron Transport in B. pertussis”, Katherine E. Reichert, A. Weersinghe, L. A. Lambert, C. J. Parker Siburt, S. Banerjee, S. K. Armstrong, and A. L. Crumbliss, 125th NC ACS Sectional Conference, Raleigh, NC, September 2011
- “Characterization of PA2407 from P. aeruginosa: A potential periplasmic binding protein”, E. M. Lin, C. J. Parker Siburt, and A. L. Crumbliss, Fall Meeting of the North Carolina Section of the American Chemical Society, Research Triangle Park, NC, September 2010
Walda Jones Powell, Ph.D., Organic Chemist
Dr. Powell’s primary research interest is synthesizing novel bio-organic molecules utilizing her skills in fluorine and boron chemistry. Most recently, she has worked on synthesizing imines from secondary amines using common laboratory reagents. Students working with Dr. Powell:
- purify the bacterial pigment Prodigiosin from Serratia,
- isolate crude extracts from Melia azedarach and use them as insecticides
- quantitatively determine the major triterpenoids in neem oil, which is also known for its insecticidal properties
For a comprehensive list of department faculty, recent publications, and curriculum vitae, please see the chemistry department website.
For more detailed information about the chemistry major, please go to the program website.
For information about other majors at Meredith, return to the Admissions majors page.